Bad polling numbers for VP Harris have Dems spooked, trigger concerns ahead of 2022

Vice President Kamala Harris is losing ground in terms of favorability, leaving Democrats and the Biden administration scrambling to figure out a way to turn her negatives around as they layout political strategy ahead of the 2022 midterm elections, which typically are not favorable to the party in power at the White House.

After six months into her first term as VP, a number of polls indicate that Harris is not being viewed as favorably as President Joe Biden — and his numbers have tanked in recent weeks as well.

In addition, Harris is seen as having made some strategic errors outside of the White House that has led congressional Democrats to conclude she has not yet hit her stride in her new role after serving in the U.S. Senate.

“Vice presidents historically do not outperform the leader at the top of the ticket. But her lower ratings haven’t gone unnoticed,” The Hill reported.

Three surveys released in recent days show that collectively, Harris received a 46 percent unfavorable rating, according to an average aggregated by RealClearPolitics.

That figure is three points worse than Biden’s 43 percent unfavorability rating.

In an Economist-YouGov poll that was taken between July 24-27, Harris’ negative rating soared to 48 percent, The Hill reported.

Usually, when a vice president visits a congressional district during a midterm contest it can produce crowds and enthusiasm for the candidate. However, because of Harris’ less-than-stellar polling numbers, questions are being raised in the White House and within Democratic ranks whether she would be viewed as an asset or a hindrance as the party tries to hang on to bare majorities in the House and Senate.

“As of right now, I think she has the potential of doing more harm than good for some of these candidates,” one Democratic strategist told The Hill. “My sense is she’ll probably raise a lot of money and maybe she’ll go to some specific districts, but they’ll have to be really strategic with her.”

Translated, the White House will have to ensure that Harris only goes to safe districts.

“She doesn’t have the standing at this moment to go to a lot of these tighter districts,” the strategist told The Hill.

Even some of the vice president’s political backers and allies think it would be risky to send her into several districts adjudged to be close races 16 months from now.

“No one is coming out and saying she’s doing an amazing job, because the first question would be ‘On what?’” one of her allies told the outlet. “She’s made a bunch of mistakes and she’s made herself a story for good and bad.”

Some of those mistakes include the way she has handled her presidential-appointed duty as ‘border czar,” as well as so-called “voting rights” policy.

She got major pushback from the party’s ultra-leftist faction when she traveled to Central America and told potential migrants living in the region “don’t come” to the United States.

“I don’t think someone like [Arizona’s] Mark Kelly would want her anywhere around him,” said the Harris ally, an acknowledgment that the freshman senator has a tough battle to keep his seat in a state that has grown from red to purple in recent years.

Republicans have identified his seat as one of the more lucrative opportunities to pull off a win next year.

Jon Dougherty

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